Full details and some reviews for The Stark Chronicles book set by Dean Monalbano.
Chronicles & Stark, The Man and His Methods.
If you like your magic Bizarre, and you like your books out of the ordinary, then this book set is for you.
Imagine a long lost Diary and sketch book which chronicles the life and times of a man named Stark. In this diary you read of the amazing, bizarre, dark, magical goings on that Mister Stark put his old friend Strombil Trodworthy through, and are left to guess how he did it.
NOW, imagine that diary fell into the hands of Dean Montalbano who has written a follow up book entitled "Stark- The Man And His Methods"- in which he teaches you how to do all 30+ of the miracles found within this old diary.
Imagine this second volume includes BONUS material in the form of "Cipher Speak" a two person code act system developed by Dean many years ago, presented here for further development for the FIRST TIME to the public.
Volume 1 hard covered "reproduction" of the original "Diary." 6 X 9 over 115 Pages.
Volume 2 is soft covered 6 X 9 over 80 Pages.
This two volume set is yours for only $45.00 Plus $5.00 post within the USA, but don't blame US if it gives you nightmares!
To purchase your copy, visit the Leaping Lizards Magic website by clicking HERE.
A review from Oracle magazine.
THE STARK CHRONCICLES, The Diary and Sketchbook of Strombil H. Trodworth III, and STARK, THE MAN AND HIS METHODS are companion books written by Dean Montalbano featuring bizarre magic.
The first, hardbound with 112 pages, contains 33 short stories, or vignettes, and the second, softbound, with 85 pages, presents the methods for accomplishing the magical and magickal happenings described in the stories (and a two-person code system). I suppose this way you could leave The Stark Chronicles on the coffee table and when, and if, someone browsing the pages wonders about the strange contents you can "explain" by performing one of the bizarre routines.
The "methods" book allows you to do this. Rothchild Stark is a weird, bizarre character, and reminds me a little bit of Tony Andruzzi. I picture him wearing all black with silver amulets and perhaps a shaved head. He is an occult kind of guy! His experiences chronicled in Trodworth's diary in the mid-1800s are definitely strange, sometimes spooky, sometimes dangerous, and sometimes a bit gross.
In his attempt to capture a ghastly beast with a voracious appetite, Stark necessarily uses maggots from a rotting corpse. These are dropped into the pool of life and are seen to be apparently swimming. Suddenly out of the frosted bowl a maggot-colored tentacle emerges, but Stark quickly slams the lid. The effect is called "Maggot, maggot, who's got the maggot." Sorry about that, but that is what it is called. Then there is the fortune teller"Madame Gorgonzola," who somehow becomes Stark, who creates a greene ooze out of a handful of creepy crawlies and worms, forms it into a ball, and with a flash of light causes it to move mysteriously and change into a large worm. In "Knock Knock, You're Dead," a doorknob mounted on a small square of wood mysteriously turns by itself! And, Larry White and I agree that "The Stark Experiment" is the best piece of "magick" in the book. Randomely selected pairs from the Minor Arcana of two different decks of Tarot cards are found to match. In "Total Rune" a scroll of parchment has a column of runes printed on it. The spectator moves a small box along the column to an apparently free selection. Such is not the case, however, since the mark on the clay inside of the box matches the selected rune. The above give you a pretty good idea of the kinds of stories and effects in this set of books.
In Larry White's review on the Shadow Digest he suggests that you read through the Chronicles and try to guess the methods used, then check your guesses
with the methods book. You will be surprised at how often you will be wrong.
Also in the methods book is Montalbano's two-person code act. At first glance it seems rather simple, only requiring considerable practice.
However, as I tried to read through it I realized that I would, or maybe could, never learn the thing. But, maybe that is why there are so few good
two-person mind-reading acts out there. Montalbano has certainly put considerable time into the code, and if you have any interest in such
things, it is worth reviewing. On the negative side, the Chronicles are
typeset in a kind of script that I do not care for. I guess it is supposed
to give some semblance of a written diary.
That is a personal concern, however, and you may like it. I did not several spelling and grammatical errors in the text, but perhaps this is by design to lend realism to the diary. However, as I came across them they stopped the flow of my reading. The stories are bizarre, in the old sense of the word. I liked some, I didn't like others, and my guess is you will have the same experience. But, if traditional bizarre is what you are looking for, here it is.
Book Review by Larry White:
I have just finished reading a marvelous collection of bizarre tales and routines and I highly recommend them to you. They are strange, weird, occasionally frightening, sometimes humorous, a few disgusting, and all are definitely "bizarre." In short, tales that should be of interest to you.
They are "The Stark
Collection." By "they" I am referring to the fact that
The main book is a hard cover, 112 and torn 1/2 + page well-produced book titled "The Stark Chronicles." This is written in diary style and printed in a script typeface. The subtitle explains that this is "The Diary and Sketchbook of Strombil H. Trodworth III." Each of the diary's entries describes an encounter that took place between Mister Trodworth and a "bizarre" character, Rothchild T. Stark. Stark is a mysterious individual who appears under strange circumstances and causes unusual things to occur. At times he seems to be a clever magician, while at other times he seems to be a practitioner of the occult. There is no hint in this volume as to his true nature or methods. Read that last line again. That's right, not on single trick is explained in this volume, it reads like a novel not a magic book. This means you can leave this volume laying on your coffee table, or even loan it to a non-magician friend to read. It contains marvelous mysteries, but no secrets.
Which brings us to the second volume. This is a soft-cover companion book titled "STARK, The Man And His Methods" written by Dean Montalbano (the man behind the curtain). Dean addresses each of the events described in the "Diary" and offers very clever methods to accomplish them. The diabolical simplicity of most of the methods will delight and satisfy every bizarre magician. However, be warned, you must be at least an "advanced amateur" with a basic working knowledge of magic to understand the explanations. Dean's descriptions are deliberately brief. Here is an example from "Mind Your R's and M's": "The razor swallowing is simply a matter of stealing the blade out from the wine goblet.... using a PK FACTOR magnet on the back of the bottle." If you understand what to do from this brief description you will have no trouble with any of the instructions in the book.
To whet your appetite let me
offer you a few brief examples of what you will
There are 33 stories/routines in all. Every one of them will stimulate your imagination and delight you. I chose to read the "diary" first while trying to guess how the "tricks" might be accomplished. Later, when I read the explanations I was often pleased to find I was wrong and the actual method was far better than my imagined solutions. I recommend you do likewise, read the diary first, that way you will have "double the pleasure"... a nifty novel and a nifty magic book. Both are wonderful.
Oh... and I must also mention that you get a bonus. In the 90's Dean spent considerable time developing a unique code act system he calls "Cipher Speak." Unlike many code systems this one does not use long sets of predefined words so is much easier to learn (though all code systems require dedicated practice). To share his system Dean includes "Cipher Speak" in the final 41 pages of Volume 2.
Oh, and a final tease for you. Did you notice one of my early sentences read, "The main book is a hard cover, 112 and TORN 1/2 + page well-produced book?" And did you ask what that meant? No, I did not make a mistake. When you read through "The Stark Chronicles" you will see... and probably, like me, be puzzled. Fear not. Check out the last sentence in the first paragraph of the "Introduction" in the "Man & His Methods" and you will understand. Hee hee hee.
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